Regions of Nepal

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Clive Carpenter informed me that Nepal is planning to reorganize into six provinces. Definite data are not available yet. Source [9] has a tentative map of the new provinces showing the names Gandaki, Karnali, Lumbini-Bhawar, Sagarmatha, Simraungadh-Janakpur, and Srijunga.

ISO 3166-2 Newsletter number II-1, dated 2010-02-03, has changes to the listing for Nepal, but nothing that affects data reported on this site. The only change is adding the prefix NP- explicitly to each development region code.

A bill passed by the interim legislature-parliament on 2007-12-28 declared Nepal a democratic federal republic, effective as of 2008-05-28. The monarchy has been abolished. This affects the official name of the country, which has been updated in ISO 3166-1 by Newsletter VI-3, published on 2008-09-09.

In "Administrative Subdivisions of Countries", I showed aanchal (zones) as the primary subdivisions. The zones could be grouped together to form five vikas kshetra (development regions). I added, "recent publications of the Central Bureau of Statistics of Nepal list development region and district names, but not zone names. The zones are probably less significant than the districts." Source [8], a profile of Nepal on a government website, doesn't even mention the zones, and I believe they're no longer in use.

Country overview: 

Short nameNEPAL
ISO codeNP
LanguageNepali (ne)
Time zone+5:45


Nepal has been independent during the entire 20th century.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Nepal
  2. Dutch: Nepal
  3. English: Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal (formal)
  4. Finnish: Nepal
  5. French: République f fédérale démocratique du Népal m
  6. German: Nepal n
  7. Italian: Nepal m
  8. Nepali: Sanghiya Loktantrik Ganatantra Nepal (formal)
  9. Norwegian: Nepal
  10. Portuguese: Nepal
  11. Russian: Федеративная Демократическая Республика Непал (formal)
  12. Spanish: Nepal
  13. Swedish: Nepal
  14. Turkish: Nepal

Primary subdivisions: 

Nepal is divided into five vikas kshetra (development regions).

Region HASCISOPopulationArea(km.²) Area(mi.²) Nepali nameCapital
Central NP.MM19,656,985 27,410 10,583MadhyamanchalHetauda
Eastern NP.PW45,811,555 28,456 10,987PurwanchalDhankuta
Far-WesternNP.SP52,552,517 19,539 7,544 Sudur PashchimanchalDipayal
Mid-WesternNP.MP23,546,682 42,378 16,362Madhya PashchimanchalBirendranagar
Western NP.PM34,926,765 29,398 11,351PashchimanchalPokhara
5 regions26,494,504147,18156,827

Postal codes: 

Nepal uses five-digit postal codes. The first digit represents a region; the first three digits represent a district. The codes are rarely used.

Further subdivisions:

See the Districts of Nepal page.

The development regions are subdivided into districts, which are further subdivided into villages.

Territorial extent: 

The UN LOCODE page  for Nepal lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.

Origins of names: 

Dhawalagiri: Nepalese dhaval: white, giri: mountain

Change history: 

In the 1950s, Nepal consisted of 34 districts.

Banke and Bardia150,000800
Bara, Parsa, and Rautahat514,5561,388
Chitwan and Nawalpur150,0001,000
Dailekh and Surkhet300,0001,200
Dang and Deokhuri150,0001,100
East No. 1 Chautara370,0001,493
East No. 2 Ramechhap250,4471,291
East No. 3 Okhaldhunga275,5032,037
East No. 4 Bhojpur238,533926
Jumla and Humla160,0005,000
Kailali and Kanchanpur100,0001,400
Khajhani and Syuraj150,000500
Mahottari and Sarlahi700,0001,200
Palhi Majhkhand250,000600
Sallyan and Jajarkot450,0003,000
Saptari and Siraha431,599912
West No. 1 Nuwakot400,0002,200
West No. 2 Gorkha200,0001,100
West No. 3 Pokhara450,0002,500
West No. 4 Pallo Nauwakot400,0001,500
34 districts8,598,40754,510
  • Population: 1952 estimate.
  • Source: Encyclopædia Britannica World
    Atlas, 1957 edition.


1962-02: Nepal reorganized into the following 14 zones.

BheriBHNP021,103,04310,5452Nepalganj, Surkhet
JanakpurJANP052,061,8169,6691Sindhulimadi, Ramechhap
KosiKONP071,728,2479,6694Biratnagar, Dharan
LumbiniLUNP082,013,6738,9753Butawal, Bhairawa
MahakaliMANP09664,9526,9895Dadeldhura, Patan
NarayaniNANP111,871,3348,3131Hetauda (Bhimphedi), Birgunj
RaptiRANP121,046,84210,4822Tulsipur, Sallyana
SetiSENP141,014,34912,5505Dhangarhi, Silgadhi
14 zones18,491,097147,181
  • ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • Population: 1991-06-22 census.
  • Reg: ISO code for development region (see above)
  • Capitals: Sources disagree about the identities of the zone capitals. I
    wasn't able to explain the discrepancies as moves from one city to
    another, so I have listed all the capitals named by more than one
    independent source, giving the most frequently cited capital first. These
    may be summer and winter capitals.


~1995: Zones fell into disuse, so the already existing development regions effectively became the primary subdivisions.

Other names of subdivisions: 

In some transcriptions from Nepali, long vowels are marked, but not always consistently.

  1. Dhawalagiri: Dhaulagiri (variant)
  2. Kosi: Koshi (variant)

Population history:



  1. [1] Library of Congress country study  (retrieved 1999).
  2. [2] Dutt, Ashok K., and M. Margaret Geib. Fully Annotated Atlas of South Asia. Westview Press, Boulder and London, 1987.
  3. [3] Schmidt, Karl J. "An Atlas and Survey of South Asian History". M.E. Sharpe, Armonk, N.Y., 1995.
  4. [4] Statistical Pocket Book, Nepal, 1990. Central Bureau of Statistics, Kathmandu.
  5. [5] National Population and Housing Census 2011 . Central Bureau of Statistics, Kathmandu, November, 2012 (retrieved 2012-12-07).
  6. [6] Nepal Population Report 2002, Ministry of Population and Environment (, dead link, retrieved 2005-10-12).
  7. [7] Table 1, 2001 census report, Nepal's Central Bureau of Statistics (, dead link, retrieved 2004-02-16).
  8. [8] Profile of Nepal (, dead link, retrieved 2004-02-16).
  9. [9] República  (retrieved 2015-08-25).
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